Report on the private tour on December 26th 2017

The last guest of this year was the Canadian couple in its thirties who loved traveling. It was the second time for them to make a trip to Japan, and they are spending the New Year in Japan. 

After a short greeting, we went on No.1 trail, using a cable car halfway.
Unlike crowded November, the mountain was very quiet and preparation for a new year was undergoing, exchanging donator’s boards, cleaning, putting lamps alongside a pass and so on. I thought the mountain was taking a little break before busy New Year’s days. 

Chatting with guests is always enjoyable. They are very friendly couple so we talked a lot about lifestyle differences between us or their stories in foreign countries. They also seemed to be very active, joining “Mario Kart” in Shibuya or enjoying a long motorcycle ride. On the way to the summit, I got an interesting question from them. “You Japanese really like ice cream, right? Why? I see ice cream everywhere. We don’t eat ice cream so often in winter” “Yeah… You are right, but I don’t know…” I couldn’t give them a clear answer, because I’ve never thought it in that way. What do you think about this? 

Lastly, I thank you for ending all our tours of this year without any big troubles, and wish you a lot of happiness in the coming year!     (Nancy)     


Today’s guest was an Australian

Today’s guest was an elderly Australian gentleman, living in JapanKagoshimafor 2years with his wife. As he wanted to walk, rather than to take the cable car, we decided to climb up via No.1 trail. The weather being cloudy and the temperature being so low, we saw very few visitors when we started the tour at 9:30 am. , enabling us to walk and rest on our own pace. 

After stopping at Konpiradai lookout, I showed him an exposed tree root on the roadside, which, to me, always looks like a kangaroo but to others, nothing but just an exposed root. As today’s guest was an Australian, I wondered how it would look to him. To my great joy, when I showed him the root, he instantly said that it’s a kangaroo! Please see the photo below. 

We kept walking, enjoying the nature around. The guest told us that he was having some knee trouble caused by a skiing accident in his youth and had been eating a lot of avocados, believing someone’s advice that avocados would be good for knee trouble. Avocados might work but here in Mt.Takao, I told him, there is better cure for knee trouble. We took him to Jinben-do Hall near Joshinmon-Gate, where a famous mountain priest is enshrined, who is believed to have magical power to cure knee trouble and backache. Let’s see what will happen to his knee. 

When we arrived at the summit, the sun showed the glimpse of its shy face and we could enjoy lunch feeling the warmth of the sunlight.
2 elderly Japanese hikers were having lunch at the same table, cooking “ODEN”, using portable burner. As it smelled so good, our guest, in spite of himself, murmured “Oh, what a nice smell! “. Hearing this, one of the hikers offered him a bowl of “ODEN” which he accepted with thanks and gladly emptied it. The hikers, the guest and us, guides were all happy with this happening.
 (ODEN” is one of the most popular winter Japanese food. It is a Japanese version of hodgepodge - Many different foods (soybean curd, potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, Japanese radish, kelp rolls etc.,) are boiled together in a large pot with a soup seasoned with soy sauce and dried bonito flakes. For your reference, I attach the photo of typical “ODEN” in the pot below.). 

We walked down on Trail No.4 and then No.1 to the chair lift station. As Trail No.4., popular among visitors with its scenic suspension bridge, runs in tree-shaded area, the temperature there was so low as to make our fingers go numb. Nevertheless we enjoyed the wintery scenery, including needle ice formed here and there.

We safely arrived back at Kiyotaki station by the chair lift.
We are sure he enjoyed and was happy with the tour with us but he seemed to be happier that he can fly back to his lovely wife in Kagoshima the next day.

(Written by Nori)


Blog for Dec.7 Tour

The guests were 2 Singapore ladies. They have visited Japan more than once before but this was their first visit to Mt.Takao.

It was a fine crisp morning when we started the tour at 10 A.M. As the autumn color of the tree leaves was past its prime, the number of visitors was much less, compared with the one in the prime season in middle to end of November, thanks to which, we could enjoy relaxed and leisurely walk all the way.

We started the tour, as usual, with the explanation of the statue of the Sweeper Boy near the Kiyotaki cable car station, because it is the symbol of the success of “No garbage left behind” campaign and I always want to convey to our guests the importance of the rule.

Then we moved to the nearby 2 statues of the Giant Flying Squirrel, supposed to be a couple. When you have a chance to see the statues, please find their baby, who is hiding somewhere.

We took the cable car to the upper station, where we explained about the tunnels of the Metropolitan loop highway. Then we went up to the Beer Mount , not for beer but for the panoramic view therefrom. The trail No.1 took us to the Monkey Park, the Octopus Cedar Tree and Joshinmon Gate. Like in other occasions, the guests from Singapore made our job as a guide much easier because of their ability to read and understand Chinese characters that appear here and there on the way..

We made it to Yakuoin Temple, then to the summit. Mt.Fuji showed only its indistinct top in the cloud. We had lunch at the table which we happened to share with a 90years old Japanese hiker, who, to our surprise, walked all the way up to the summit alone. He seemed to be happy to talk to our guests (through our interpretation) and seeing our guests eating “ONIGIRI”, rice balls, he offered them “Takuan”, yellow pickled radish. “ONIGIRI” and “TAKUAN” for Japanese is like “Bread and Butter” for Western People. So his offer was out of kindness and quite natural from his view point but as “Takuan” smells, foreign people may need to be accustomed to it. So our guests accepted his goodwill only. 

After lunch, we started climbing down. On the way up, we had asked our guests if they felt cold and they said they felt cold. We asked the same question on the way down and their answer was they felt very very cold. Oh, we were sorry for the guests from Singapore, a land of everlasting summer.

We took the chair lift going down and it must have been freezing cold for the guests but to our relief, it seemed that the grand view from the chairlift more than compensated their physical hardship. 

We safely arrived back at the Kiyotaki Station and the tour ended there with thanks for each other, our thanks for their joining our tour and theirs for our making the tour interesting and enjoyable for them. We had another good day!

Written by Nori


Afternoon Tour on December 3rd

Luckily, the guests arrived 20 minutes earlier than the agreed time (2:00pm). 
Their early arrival was welcomed, because we were afraid that this afternoon tour won’t finish before dark. 
 Today’s guests were a party of 12 people from various countries. We were divided into 2 groups. After greeting shortly, we started the tour. The weather was perfect for the hike and it seemed this weekend might be the last chance to see autumn foliage.

We took chair lifts for our ascent as requested and enjoyed colored leaves on it’s both sides. Then we headed to the Yakuo-in temple and the summit while guiding briefly at several spots. We also stopped at Yukien which is one of the famous sights for its beautiful autumn foliage on Mt. Takao.
We reached the summit around 3:20pm. Mt. Fuji was dimly visible this afternoon. After taking a short break, we started to descend. This time we took Fuji-michi. The guests enjoyed walking on this trail, since we seldom met other people. When we got to the upper cable car station, there was a long queue. Our guests chose to walk down the mountain instead of waiting for a cable car. Though it was getting dark gradually, we enjoyed chatting and arrived at the foot. At the end of this tour, we took a group photo in front of the Kiyotaki station. The tour ended at 4:45pm and got almost dark.
The guests were gentle, intelligent and friendly. Thanks to them, this tour
went smoothly and pleasantly. 
 (Written by Sally)


Report on the JICA tour of the 2nd December 2017

Under the fine weather, we have 4 guests from Micronesia, Brazil, Myanmar and Malaysia. Compared to the previous month, it was a much smaller number, but it made us feel at ease. 

After welcoming the guests, I was surprised to find a familiar face among them. One of the female guests joined us last month, and came to us again to see autumn leaves. I remembered her and she also remembered me, so it was a happy reunion. As she expected, autumn leaves were still gorgeous. Everyone enjoyed colored leaves and taking photos. 

Our biggest treat to guests is to show them a clear view of Mt, Fuji from the top. However, despite of a nice weather, we were not able to see it because of a cloud. It was a disappointment though, instead, autumn leaves did a good job to entertain our guests. I hoped they made a colorful memory for the guests.  



Report on the private tour of 24th November,2017

It was fine in the morning, but changed cloudy in the afternoon.
Our guest was a family of three-generation from Singapore. 
he youngest was 15 years old boy and the oldest 80 years old who was his grandfather. 
We met them at the Takao-san Guchi Station at around 9:40 a.m.
Shortly after we exchanged greetings each other, we started the tour. 
When we arrived at Kiyotaki Station , we saw many visitors waited for taking the cable car. So, we took a chairlift to ascend.
During the tour, family were so busy to take photos of autumn leaves changed into red and yellow at the observatory near the cable car station, at Yakuoin-temple ,the summit and the foot of Mt. Takao.
After we had lunch near the summit, we arrived at the summit shortly.  A lot of people gathered and crowded. 

We took them at the viewpoint to see Mt. FUJI. 
Fortunately, we could see Mt. FUJI covered partially by the clouds .  
What I was impressed in this tour was the big assistance for the oldest man while he climbed and went down trails on Mt. Takao. Namely, his son walked arm in arm with him. I believe this support made him arrived safely at the foot.
I deeply moved his behavior for his father.

We exchanged greetings each other with good-by and left there.

(written by NABE)


Autumn Color ! 23rd NOV. 2017

Today we guided two young couples from Indonesia for Mr. Takao Hiking. In the morning they missed the train they should get on at Shinjuku, and got the local train for Takaosanguchi Station, so we met at Takaosanguchi station one hour behind. 

The hiking course was below.
Start Cable car à Trail 1st à Yakuoin à the summit and Launch
For return: Trail 4th à Trail 1st à Chair Lift à Returned.  
Today it looked like “Week End” because a lot of people visited here. Yes, it was in the mid of autumn color season. 

The guests and we really enjoyed such a colorful forest while taking pictures, chattering, and often listening/presenting at guide points. They knew the name of “Garuda” of Indonesia Airline came from Karura-Ten. 

We could not view of Mt. Fuji, but we could have comfortably lunches in the wood table at the summit. They decided to visit Mt.Takao with our guide for one day of their 10 days Japan trip. We felt proud of guiding them in Mt.Takao today.    (Nori and Tim)


Report on the monthly tour of 19th November, 2017

Thanks to an earlier start than the norm by an hour at 8:30, we were quite free from huge crowds rushing here for enjoying full autumn foliage on a sunny Sunday, and enjoyed the hiking of our own.

Today’s guest, Pop-san from US, having a nice plan to visit his son living in one of sub-tropical islands called Amami, perfectly prepared for this hike without taking cable cars. A pair of walking poles, trekking shoes, winter clothing, and above all, we were so amazed by his proposal to arrive even earlier than the fore-mentioned time!!

We were also ready to fix the route depending on conditions of the crowds, though fortunately, we didn’t have to change our initial plan, as follows.For going up, Trail No.6, Inariyama trail, Trail No.5, Momijidai plateau, Summit of Mt. Takao. And for descent, Trail No.1, No.2 and Biwa Fall Trail.

He is very knowledgeable, too.
This was the first time that we talked with our guest on triangulation system and its history at the summit of Mt. Takao. Also in other area, we could easily jump into details of nature and culture of our country.
In many cases, he was my guide, too!!  (by Sumo)
 At Momijidai with my colleagus, Gucchi and Yoshi


Our guest was a young happy lady. Why is that?

Today’s guest was a young happy lady from Singapore (She had a reason to be happy).
Her plan according to her tour application was to start around noon and walk all the way, up and down. We were worried that starting time would be too late for such a walking tour, considering the time required and sunset at around 4:30 pm. and so we explained to her. But she had planned it even before she arrived in Japan and wanted to carry out the long cherished plan. As “GUEST FIRST” is our important policy, we gladly decided to follow her plan.
We started the tour around noon with the explanation of the statues of “Sweeper Boy” and “Giant Flying Squirrel”, then took Trail No.1. Though it’s a week day, the beautiful weather brought many visitors to Mt.Takao and Trail No.1 had more hikers than usual. We stopped at Kompiradai lookout, which commands a good view of distant skyscrapers in Shinjuku and the famous row of yellow colored gingko trees along the route 20 that is running through Hachioji City, to which Mt.Takao belongs. Just for your information, a gingko tree is the symbol tree of Hachioji city and the city is hosting “Gingko Tree Festa” in November every year (Nov.18 and 19 this year).
We kept walking up, enjoying the scenery of forest and colored leaves. We saw many families with kids who were singing and smiling, that made us smile. 

Oh, I forgot to tell about the guest and why she was a happy guest. She had visited Japan many times before with her family or friends, and this time, she accompanied her fiancé, who is visiting Japan for business. So now you understand why she was a happy guest. I tell you that she did really look one. 

Arriving at the cable car station (upper station), we showed her the gaping hole of the ceiling there that is a nest of the flying squirrel, as well as the highway tunnels that can be seen from the station, with a small story about the similar tunnels running under Mt.Takao. Then we covered Beer Mount(one of the best lookouts at Mt.Takao), Monkey park, Takosugi(Octopus Cedar Tree), Two climate zones with their distinctively different trees, Johsinmon Gate , Otokozaka(Men’s Slope), Yukien(literally means Joyful Garden, where there is a stupa with Buddha’s ashes enshrined) to reach to Yakuoin Temple Main Hall, then to the top of the mountain. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see Mt.Fuji, we enjoyed the autumn leaves, red and yellow all around over lunch there. Then we started going down around 3:00pm via Trail No.4, crossing the popular Hanging Bridge en route and then back on Trail No.1. We all had agreed beforehand that whether to fully walk down or to take the chair lift down should be decided when we arrive at the chairlift station, taking into consideration the guest’s condition and the length of the waiting queue for the chairlift . When we arrived at the station at around 3:30, we were told we would have to wait for 45minutes or so. We, however, decided for the chairlift (not because she was tired but we wanted to show her and she wanted to see, the beautiful scenery from the chairlift). Luckily we didn’t actually have to wait so long and could soon get on the chairlift, fully enjoying the splendor of aerial autumn view. 

Thanks to the happy guest and good weather, we had a really good time and hope she enjoyed the beauty of Mt.Takao and the tour with us.
We saw her off at Takao station, who was joining her fiancé for dinner. We are sure she had another good time.                (Written by Nori)


Our guest was a jovial young lady

 In spite of the rain on the previous day, the weather turned out to be perfect for the tour. The guest this time was a jovial young lady from Malaysia. She was energetic as well. Arriving at Japan early in the morning on the day and after checking in at the Hotel in Asakusa, coming straight to Takaosanguchi Station to meet us. 
 She arrived at the station much earlier than the time we had mutually arranged and thanks to her timely contact with us, we could start the tour around 10:00am, 30minutes earlier than the original plan. 

 The tour started at the statues of “Osoji Kozo” (Sweeper Boy) and Giant Flying Squirrel in front of cable car’s Kiyotaki Station, then we took the cable car up to Mt.Takao Station (the upper station). As it was a weekday, visitors were not so many as we had been worried, making it unnecessary for us to que for the cable car for long time. 
 Our first visit was to Beer Mount (a beer garden near Mt.Takao station). It is not that we wanted beer but that it is one of the best look out point at Mt.Takao. (to prove our innocence, I have to tell you that Beer Mount is operational only in summer season). From the terrace at Beer Mount, we enjoyed a panoramic view of Shinjuku and other Tokyo metropolitan area (though the Sky Tree was in a haze), as well as nearby mountains and trees.
 Then we took the Trail No.1, covering Monkey Park (we didn’t get in, though), Takosugi (Octopus Cedar Tree), Vegetation Cover of Mt.Takao, Johinmon Gate.
We were lucky that the guest could read and understand the writings on the tablet and board hung on the Gate, which made our job as a guide much easier. We kept going on the Trail No.1 to Yakuoin Temple via Otokozaka (Men’s slope with 108 step stairs), visiting Yukien on the way, where we enjoyed reddening leaves of maple trees.

 Before visiting the main hall of Yakuoin Temple, we visited Eight Dragon Kings Hall (Eight Dragon Kings are believed to multiply your money if you put your money in the basket and wash it in the water there) and Kulikara-do Hall (Dragon King Kulikara is enshrined there, who is considered to be the god of match making).
Guess which the young lady guest were more interested in. See the photo for the answer!

 We made it to the top of the mountain where Mt.Fuji welcomed us. After lunch there, we started climbing down, taking Trail No.4 to cross the famous suspension bridge, which, with the background of red and yellow leaves, is a photographer’s favorite spot.

 We went down the mountain by chair lift, enjoying the splendor of the mountain and city view in autumn color. As mentioned at the beginning, today’s guest is young and energetic, so the tour didn’t end there. We then walked 15minutes or so to “Komagino Garden”, where a pre-war modern Japanese traditional private house with traditional Japanese style garden are exhibited together with the exhibition of well taken care of Bonsai trees. 
 Inside the house, they serves drinks (coffee, tea, juice etc.,) and sweets to visitors and our guest was so kind as to offer us, guides, a cup of coffee, which we accepted with thanks. We walked to the nearby railway station (Takao Station) and we bid each other a good-bye there.

 All of us, the guest and we, the guides, had a really good time and we hope her visit to Mt.Takao will be a part of her happy memory of her stay in Japan this time.
(Written by Nori)


Report on the tour held on 4th November

 Not easy, not at all for us to have a hiking tour of a big party in this busy season when so many people visit here for enjoying nice autumn foliage.
Actually, November is the busiest month of the year here at Mt. Takao.
It’s a fine day today, and autumn foliage already started earlier than norm.
I think the number of visitors stepping on the summit of Mt. Takao today would well surpass 30,000, if based on the past statistics. 
                                                                   At the temple
 The crowd naturally causes a long line for many facilities including cable car and chairlift.
Yes, we had to wait for more than an hour in total to get them.
Even a group photo at the summit have to be abandoned due to a long line.
Moreover, it enforced us to concentrate our attention on watching our guests all the way in order not to lose them.

 For taking a lunch, we were ready to sit on plastic sheet spread over the ground.
But, we miraculously managed to get tables for all members by an effort of the youngest colleague, Lin who also made a big contribution later to shorten the waiting time for chairlift by rushing to the station beforehand to get numbered tickets for all members. 
                               Nao’s lesson of folding paper, Origami
                   The usual final shot at lower cable station. Sorry Lin, your nice face half hidden.

Anyway, I’ve realized necessity of improvement of my ability of management of the tour.
I just hope the level of satisfaction of our customers nearly got to “acceptable”.
                                                                                          (by Sumo)


Miracle day! Oct.7th, 2017

Previous day many weather forecasts bothered me, because I had to decide if we would carry out the Mt. Hiking tour on Oct.7th, but according to the forecasts it would be rainy till 9:00am on Oct.7th. I finally decided we would carry out like a gambler.

The rain stopped in the morning around Takaosanguchi station 
13 guests from ten countries (Ethiopia, Turk, Cambodia, Tanzania, Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Egypt and Japan) participated. 

The hiking course was below.
Start Cable car à Trail 1st à Yakuoin à the summit and Launch (around noon)
For return we used Fuji-michi path, and Trail 1st , and then got on chair lift.
We had a wrap up meeting near Kiyotaki station and finally took our group picture.

One guide explained to them about Asagimadara-Chestnut tiger butterfly on the board. Later when they actually found Asagimadara around Trail #5, they were surprised, and delighted at the butterfly while saying we were lucky

Egyptians often took photos of green trees. Japanese thinks why they do that.
Green forest was out of common to Egyptian, because they do not have green forests in their country.

In the morning long-distance view was unclear, but around noon we could catch Tokyo Sky tree, Shinjuku and Yokohama skyscrapers, Sagami-bay and Enoshima island.

Today it was first day of three successive holidays, so usually Mt.Takao was huge crowded. However today we could be comfortable 

We really enjoyed !!



Report on the tour with Cognizant Japan held on 30th September, 2017

 Today, we welcomed the employees and their families of Cognizant Japan, IT and Business Consulting Company. The 18 guests are from India, China and Japan, including a 2-year-old energetic boy. 
 We started the tour at 10:30. For starters, Tengu staff briefly explained the statues of the Sweeper Boy and the Flying Squirrels, and the trails in Mt. Takao, and then we took the cable car. The gusts enjoyed seeing the beautiful scenery through the windows and the steepest slope in Japan.
               △In the Cable Car                                 
 When getting off the cable car, we moved to the observation deck called KASUMI-DAI, and took a group photo with the panoramic view in their background.
  We started to hike along the trail No.1, heading to the top of Mt. Takao. On the way, we dropped by several tourist spots where Tengu staff shared useful information and interesting stories with the guests.
△Octopus Tree 
               Jinpen-Do Temple
            △Men’s slope and Women’s slope
                △Izuna-Gongen-Do Shrine
  Though there are some tough staircases on the way to the top, all of the members, including the little boy climbed them up vigorously.
△2-year-old boy
  We arrived at the top of the mountain around noon and took a lunch break. After having lunch, we took a group photo all together.
            △On the top of Mt. Takao
 We left the top of the mountain at 13:30. Fortunately, we happened to see beautiful butterflies called “Asagimadara”, the chestnut tiger in English, flying gracefully. They are known as butterflies which travel more than 1000km, crossing the sea.
△A butterfly called Asagimadara, or the chestnut tiger.
  At the very end of the tour, we took the chair-lift, going down to the Kiyotake Station at the foot of the mountain.
  We got together again there at 15:00. We said “Good bye” one another, smiling ear to ear. All the guests looked satisfied with the tour. I hope it will become a good memory for them.
△Kiyotake Station
 Finally, “Thank you Cognizant Japan for joining our tour!” from all the 7 guides involved in Today’s tour. Cheers🍻!!
△Review Meeting after the tour
                (Written by HIDE)



It rained heavily in a way I’d never experienced before, at least at Mt. Takao region.
Actually, it stopped operation of cable car, and we had to wait for more than half an hour at the upper cable car station.

On the plus side, when the rain fall started, we were already within tens of steps from the station, and eating one of the most popular sweets of this region called Tengu-Yaki.

Furthermore, when we finally got to the lower cable station to finalize the tour in a very fine weather, our guests Chelsea and Stephanie had still enough time to visit nearby “599 Natural Museum” and hot springs (Onsen) called “Takao san Gokurakuyu” by themselves.

Noteworthy is that they were unknown to each other, and just applied to our Private Tour program for the same day.
But, they are from the same country, the same city, and similar age (It’s just to my eye of old man).
And they really looked like long-standing intimate friends in the eyes of three aged guides.        (By Sumo)

                                          A short break on the way up.


                         Purifying their body with sacred water in turn before making a prayer

                                           At the summit. With my colleagues, Sally and Nabe

                                             Enjoying Tengu-Yaki